The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham. Random House, 2018.
The subtitle is taken from Abraham Lincoln’s speech that shows how “the better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Author Meacham “paints” surprising portraits of many U.S. presidents and shows the illuminating courage of citizen activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., suffragettes, civil rights pioneers, and others.
Each of the times in our national life has been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear –- a struggle that continues even now.
From the front cover flap: “While the American story has not always –- or even often –- been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, ‘The good news is that we have come through such darkness be-fore’ -– as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.”